Italy’s conservative alliance on Tuesday proposed three possible candidates for head of state, leaving the centre-left to respond as parliament remains divided over a successor to outgoing President Sergio Mattarella.
The League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia put forward the names of former Senate speaker Marcello Pera, former education minister and mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti and Carlo Nordio, a retired magistrate widely admired on the right.
“We are not here to impose anything on anybody … we hope these names are received with a willingness to discuss them,” said League leader Matteo Salvini at a joint news conference with his allies.
Although Prime Minister Mario Draghi remains the most likely contender, worries that his promotion to president might shatter his coalition government and trigger early national elections have complicated his prospects.
As a result, the race for the prestigious, seven-year role is wide open, with each political group cagily promoting alternative candidates in behind-the-scenes negotiations.
A second round began at 3.00 p.m. (1400 GMT), with the majority of the 1,009 lawmakers and regional delegates set to cast blank ballots as they did in Monday’s first round — a way of playing for time while their leaders decide what to do.